Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Culture Of South Africa

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South Africa’s black majority still has a significant number of rural dwellers who live largely impoverished lives. Among these people, cultural traditions survive most strongly; with the increasing urbanisation and westernisation of black people, aspects of traditional culture have declined. Members of the middle class, who are predominantly white but have increasing numbers of blacks, coloureds and Indians in their ranks, have in many ways similar lifestyles to people in Western Europe, North America and Australasia.

One of the first youth organisations open to young people and adults of all races in South Africa was the South African Scout Association. This happened on 2 July 1977 at a conference that became known as “Quo Vadis”.

Art in South Africa

South African art includes the oldest art objects in the world, discovered in a South African cave and dated to 75,000 years ago. The scattered tribes of Khoisan people who moved into South Africa from around 10000 BC had their own fluid style of art, which can be seen today in a variety of cave paintings. They were displaced by the Bantu/Nguni peoples with their own vocabulary of art forms. New art forms developed in the mines and townships: dynamic art using everything from plastic strips to bicycle spokes. Dutch-influenced African Trekker folk art, and white urban artists who followed the changing European traditions in earnest from the 1850s onwards, also contributed to this eclectic mix that has developed to the present day.

South African literature has emerged from a unique social and political history. One of the first known novels written by a black author in an African language was Solomon Thekiso Plaatjes Mhudi in 1930. In the 1950s, Drum magazine became a hotbed of political satire, fiction and essays that gave voice to urban black culture.

Notable white South African authors include Alan Paton, who published the highly acclaimed novel Cry, the Beloved Country in 1948. Nadine Gordimer was the first South African to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. Her most famous novel, July’s People, was published in 1981. J.M. Coetzee has been awarded with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. In awarding the prize, the Swedish Academy stated that Coetzee “portrays the surprising implication of the outsider in countless characters”.

Athol Fugard’s plays regularly premiere in South Africa, London (Royal Court Theatre) and New York’s Fringe Theatre. Olive Schreiner’s The Story of an African Farm (1883) was a revelation in Victorian literature: it is hailed by many as introducing feminism into the novel form.

Breytenbach was imprisoned for his involvement in the guerrilla movement against apartheid. André Brink was the first African writer to be banned by the government after publishing his novel A Dry White Season.

The South African media industry is large and South Africa is one of the major media centres in Africa. While South Africa’s many broadcasters and publications reflect the diversity of the population at large, the most common language used is English. However, all the other ten official languages are represented to some extent.

There is a great deal of diversity in South African music. Black musicians have developed a distinctive style known as ‘Kwaito’. Kwaito is said to have conquered radio, television and magazines. Noteworthy is Brenda Fassie, who rose to fame with a song called “Weekend Special” sung in English. South Africa has produced some of the world’s most famous jazz musicians, including Hugh Masekela, Jonas Guwangwa, Abdullah Ibrahim, Miriam Makeba, Jonathan Butler, Chris McGregor and Satima Bo Benjamin. Afrikaans music spans multiple genres, including contemporary Steve Hoffmeyer, punk rock band Fokow Policy Car and singer-songwriter Jeremy Loops.

Although South African film productions are little known outside of South Africa itself, there are many foreign films about South Africa. Probably the best-known film to portray South Africa in recent years was District 9. In 2015, Oliver Hermanu’s film The Endless River became the first South African film to be selected for the Venice Film Festival.

Cuisine in South Africa

South African culture is diverse; food from many cultures is enjoyed by all and marketed especially to tourists who want to sample the great variety of South African cuisine. Besides food, music and dance also play an important role.

South African cuisine is heavily meat-based and has given rise to the typical South African social gathering known as a braai or barbecue. South Africa has also become a major wine producer, with some of the best vineyards located in the valleys around Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl and Barrydale.

Sports in South Africa

Football, rugby and cricket are the most popular sports in South Africa. Other sports that receive strong support are swimming, athletics, golf, boxing, tennis, ringball and netball. While football has the largest following among young people, other sports such as basketball, surfing and skateboarding are also gaining in popularity.

Footballers who have played for major foreign clubs include Steven Pienaar, Lucas Radebe and Philemon Masinga, Benny McCarthy, Aaron Mokoena and Delon Barkley. South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup and FIFA President Sepp Blatter awarded South Africa a score of 9 out of 10 for a successful World Cup.

Notable boxing personalities include Baby Jake Jacob Matlala, Buyani Bungu, Welcome Nshita, Dingaan Tovela, Gerry Coetzee and Brian Mitchell. Durban surfer Jordy Smith won the Billabong J-Bay in 2010, making him the world number one. South Africa produced the world Formula One champion Jordy Scheckter in 1979. Notable current cricketers include AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Faf du Plessis and many others. Most of them also play in the Indian Premier League.

A number of world-class rugby athletes are also being born in South Africa, including Francois Pienaar, Joost van der Westhuizen, Danny Craven, Frick du Preez, Naas Botha and Bryan Habana. South Africa hosted and won the 1995 Rugby After the 1995 Rugby World Cup, South Africa hosted the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations, which the national team won. It also hosted the 2003 Cricket World Cup and the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup.

In 2004, the swimming team of Roland Schoeman, Lyndon Ferns, Darian Townsend and Ryk Neethling won the gold medal at the Athens Olympics and also broke the world record in the 4×100 freestyle relay. 1996 Atlanta Olympics saw Penny Hesvin win the In 2012, Oscar Pistorius became the first double amputee sprinter to compete at the London Olympics. In golf, Gary Player is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time, becoming one of five golfers to win a professional Grand Slam. Other South African golfers to win majors include Bobby Locke, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Tim Clark, Trevor Immelman, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.

How To Get In South Africa

With plane South Africa is an important hub for air travel in the Southern African region. The country's flag carrier, South Africa Airways (SAA), has an extensive global and pan-African network of connections, some of which are operated by its short-haul subsidiaries SA Airlink and SA Express. South Africa has 10...

How To Travel Around South Africa

By plane South Africa has a well-developed domestic air transport infrastructure with connections between all major centres. There are several daily flights to all major airports in the country. Contact one of the airlines for details. The budget airlines (Kulula, Mango) are usually the cheapest and prices can be compared...

Visa & Passport Requirements for South Africa

People of the following nationality will not need a visa for a period of stay of 90 days or less: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand,...

Weather & Climate in South Africa

South Africa generally has a temperate climate, partly due to the fact that it is surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, that it is in the southern hemisphere, which has a milder climate, and that the average altitude increases steadily northwards (towards the equator) and...

Accommodation & Hotels in South Africa

Businesses in South Africa can be graded on a 5-star basis by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. Many establishments make use of this service and you will see the star rating on most promotional material. 1 star - Clean, comfortable and functional.2 stars - Good: High quality facilities,...

Destinations in South Africa

Regions GautengPretoria - The administrative capital of the country. Johannesburg is the seat of the provincial government, as well as the economic heart of Africa and the most frequent point of entry into southern Africa. Western Cape - Cape Town, the Mother City, the legislative capital and seat of Parliament, with...

Things To See in South Africa

Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists visit South Africa to discover its numerous natural and cultural attractions. South Africa is a fascinating country full of contrasts and beauty - everything from wild elephants to breathtaking landscapes, cave paintings, colonial heritage and vibrant towns. Wild animals in their natural habitat South...

Things To Do in South Africa

Diving,River rafting: The Orange River on the border with Namibia is a popular destination for rafting tours. Several tour operators start 4-6 day trips from Vioolsdrif in inflatable boats with camping under the stars.Rugby union, cricket and football are all popular spectator sports traditionally associated with African, Anglo-South African...

Food & Drinks in South Africa

Food in South Africa Cuisine South African cuisine is multicultural, influenced by native British, German, Indian, Malayan, Portuguese and, of course, African influences. Braaivleis, meat roasted over an open wood or charcoal fire, is very popular and is usually done at weekend social events. The act of roasting the meat as well...

Money & Shopping in South Africa

Money in South Africa A currency is the ZAR (rand), divided into 100 cents (c). The banknotes are available in denominations ranging from R200, R100, R50, R20 and R10.The higher denomination notes are slightly larger than the lower denomination notes. All notes have a metallic security strip and watermark. Note...

Festivals & Events in South Africa

Public holidays in South Africa DateName1 JanuaryNew Year's Day21 MarchHuman Rights DayThe Friday before Easter SundayGood FridayThe Monday after Easter SundayFamily Day27 aprilFreedom Day1 MayLabour Day16 JuneYouth Day9 AugustNational Women's Day24 SeptemberHeritage Day16 DecemberDay of reconciliation25 DecemberChristmas Day26 DecemberGoodwill Day

Internet & Communications in South Africa

Phone in South Africa The country code of South Africa is 27. Telephone numbers within South Africa have the format 0XX YYY ZZZZ. Large cities have area codes of 0XX (Johannesburg is 011, Pretoria 012, Cape Town 021, Durban 031, Port Elizabeth 041, East London 043, Kimberley 053, Bloemfontein 051), while smaller...

Language & Phrasebook in South Africa

There are 11 official languages in South Africa, namely Afrikaans, Southern Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Swazi, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda and English. The majority of people who are not rural black South Africans speak English as a second language. Only about 8% of the population speaks English...

Traditions & Customs in South Africa

South Africans are generally polite, friendly and courteous towards tourists. Behaviour in public is very similar to what you might find in Europe. Heterosexual expressions of affection in public are not frowned upon unless you overdo it. Homosexual displays of affection can attract unwanted attention, although they are tolerated and...

History Of South Africa

The tip of Africa has been home to the Khoisan (collective name for Hottentots (Koi) and Bushmen (San)) for thousands of years. Their rock art can still be found in many places in South AfricaAccording to some estimates, the Bantu tribes gradually began to spread into what is now...

Stay Safe & Healthy in South Africa

Stay safe in South Africa South Africa rarely experiences earthquakes, cyclones, tornadoes, floods, terrorist incidents or infectious diseases (except HIV). It is however one of the countries with the highest rates of violent crime in the world. However, if you are vigilant and use common sense, you should have a safe...

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